Weekly Challenge #812 – UNSURE

Tinny vs Lion

KELLY

She knew she loved him. Even though she knew from the beginning not to. He really did give her every reason to run, but the young woman wanted so badly to love him for who he was. After a long time, a child, lots of pets, oh…and that terrible time in the ICU, she still tried and tried. Giving all, but receiving nothing in return…she was left alone. Nearly 29 years of marriage and a real hit to her sanity…he left her…because he was unsure of who he was and now all is lost. Goodbye forever.

RICHARD

Unsure

Unsure: The new fragrance for men!

Do you struggle to impress women? Do you lack confidence? Do social situations make you feel awkward?

Unsure for men will change your life!

Spray it all over, and its long-lasting fragrance of despair and desperation, with subtle undertones of longing and wistfulness will make you irresistible to the fairer sex!

What woman could resist the urge to mother and smother you in the kind of affection that only pity can inspire?

How can she possibly withstand that sweet, sad, smell of helplessness?

Unsure: Because you’re not worth it, but she can’t help herself!

LIZZIE

He thought he had led a good life until someone from out of town whispered something in his ear. It wasn’t easy to upset him and yet here he was, panicking. He took the fish from the lines where it was drying and hid it in a bag. He looked at his hands and felt the need to wash them, frantically, obsessively. But he just stood there. And he wondered… He wondered if the stranger really knew what he had done, traveling through space but, above all, through time, that time he had so desperately tried to run away from.

SERENDIPIDY

I started a new business in unsurance sales.

No, you didn’t mishear that, I really did say unsurance.

You see, the problem with todays’ woke snowflake generation, is that there’s very little to worry about. There’s always an insurance policy to fall back on in case of loss, damage or theft.

There’s no risk, no sense of danger, and no element of fear.

And I’m out to change all that.

Buy one of my policies, and I can guarantee you’ll be pretty unsure about anything that might happen in the future.

Particularly, since I specialise in policies for life unsurance!

DUANE

I’m kind of unsure how I got here. I surely wasn’t smarter than anyone else. I hadn’t come from money or had any real advantages. So how did I get here? I guess it was the choices I made in life. I took years deciding what profession to pursue. Spent hours determining what wear to the interview. Choices of hair and eye color.

The receptionist hands me a form to fill out. Name? I’ll go with Martin. David. No, Joshua. Date of Birth? Should I be old or young? Thirty-five seems reasonable. Sex? “Excuse me, could we reschedule for tomorrow?”

TOM

What Could Go Possible Wrong 012

Rolling to the floor unsure of the direction of the shooter Parker tilted the table above him. To his left and right he could see his mate seeking safety. A volley again, some rattling the table top, other piecing wood impacting the floor around him. Weapon thought Parker, something, anything. All he had was the pint glass in his hand. Was the last thing he would see a blurred shadow on a glass. No, not a shadow a form. The form of a water fowl wrapped about the glass. He cocked an arm blindly and letting fly. Duck he yelled

NORVAL JOE

Not entirely clear on what a weather witch was, Billbert asked Sabrina. “Do you honestly believe you control what the weather does?”
Clearly not unsure of herself, Sabrina said, “Of course we do, among other things.”
“Other things? Like what?” Billbert asked, skeptically.
“We know things about people and we can affect them. Like you and your family. I know about you, your schedule at school, where you live. We brought you here.”
Billbert couldn’t accept this claim. “You brought us all the way from Fresno?”
She smiled and shook her head. “Don’t lie. I know you’re not from Fresno.”

PLANET Z

Most kids asked Santa for bikes or dolls or footballs.
That kind of thing.
For Christmas, Ellie wanted the truth.
“Are you sure you don’t want a puppy?” asked her parents.
Santa looked over the letter and sat back in his chair.
“You want the truth?” said Santa. “Okay. You’ll get the truth.”
So, while other kids were opening boxes with their bikes or dolls and footballs, Ellie opened a box and got the truth.
“It’s empty,” said Ellie, turning the box over and shaking it. “There’s nothing in it.”
Santa watched from the window, and vanished into the snow.

The topic of the next weekly challenge is ARSON

Hi there. This is Laurence Simon of the 100 Word Stories Podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

Every week, I post a topic for the Weekly Challenge, where you come up with the stories and I collect them up and share them.

Want to give it a try? The topic of the next 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge is Unsure

Write a 100 word story on that topic. Then, send it in an email to isfullofcrap (at) gmail.com with the subject line of WEEKLY CHALLENGE.

Include the following:

  • The text of your story.
  • A topic or topics for future Weekly Challenges.
  • A website where people can learn more about you and your writing, include the URL to that website.
  • A recording of your story. Be sure to introduce yourself to the audience.

I put the episode together on Sunday morning. But, if you need more time, I can put your story up on the feed in a separate post.

Good luck, and as always… keep it brief.

JAN 3 Fire
JAN 10 Why is mother crying?
JAN 17 Get a life!
JAN 24 How does that grab you?
JAN 31 Prowling, Canon, Everything, To/Too/Two, Risk, Delinquent, Spray Tan

FEB 7 Smalltalk
FEB 14 Pizza
FEB 21 Wine
FAN 28 Ruins, Cone, A toast!, Rebel, Dive, Name change, Glow

MAR 7 Tilting
MAR 14 Behind a bush
MAR 21 Unlimited
MAR 28 Remember only this…, Scope, Church, Melt, Fade, Bare

APR 4 River crossing
APR 11 Advanced
APR 18 Saint
APR 25 Fuming, Bean, When will it stop raining, Vaccine, Quarantine, Helmet, Tin

MAY 2 List
MAY 9 Stay safe
MAY 16 Don’t press the button!
MAY 23 Hand
MAY 30 Address, Blundering buffoon, Bunny, View, Wizard, What’s that on the horizon?, Bark

JUN 6 Trade
JUN 13 Riding shotgun
JUN 20 Prompt
JUN 27 Crystalline, Copper, Outbreak, Demure, Paper thin, Bonus, Bleach

JUL 4 So many questions
JUL 11 Needle
JUL 18 Letter
JUL 25 Can you help me?, Enough, Market, Trial, Bundle, The noise is driving me mad!, Inventory

AUG 1 Discard
AUG 8 Misnomer
AUG 15 If I had a nickel for every time
AUG 22 Where do I begin?
AUG 29 Full, Where did they go?, Barrel, Your call, Universally, Joint, Some might say…

SEP 5 Doubtful
SEP 12 Over to you…
SEP 19 The heat of the moment
SEP 26 Craft, Ceremoniously, Empty spaces, Clickbait, Disposal protocol, You saved my life, Level

OCT 3 Binge
OCT 10 After
OCT 17 Disintegration
OCT 24 …Since records began
OCT 31 Vase, Rub, Top, Spring fresh, Chime, The End, Crop

NOV 7 Unsure
NOV 14 Arson
NOV 21 What’s that on your face?
NOV 28 Square, Unexpected message, Formation, The door flew open, Fret, Prediction, Jelly fish

DEC 5 Bee
DEC 12 Store
DEC 19 Left
DEC 26 Don’t push me…, Animated, Compassion, Indifferent, Ally, Whale, A fork in the road

THE REST OF THE TOPICS

Overexposed
Even
Pick one
Fight fire with fire
Velcro
Typo
Warren
A thin veneer
Age
Streak
I was very young
Brownie mix
Cliché
Feeble
Uncompromising
Flowering
Are we there yet?
Late
I’ll be there
Hair
Slippery slope
Too much to bear
Weather
Varnish
Explanation
Preventative Maintenance
Contact
Landing
Mice cream
Free
Mice
Chewy
Godzilla
The sweet smell of success
Proposal
Sentence
Trust
Twist
Thicket
Every good intention
Train
Spook
Thousands of years
Virtual reality
Prompt
Extremely flexible
Consensus
Major
Scoreboard
Anywhere
Blocker
Major
Koala
Bleak
Pool
USB socket
Gadget
Robot
Choke
Cross country
Pop
Where’s Ethel?
Toothpaste
Concertina
Pacing
Screaming Kids
Tie
Deal
Archimedes
Evidence
Water Torture
Own
Cassette tape
Remember
Remote
Everyone
Mimes
Contact lens
Crash
Clemency
Speediest
Thumbs up
Remote
What happens next?
Quit
Remastered
Heated
Record
The way we were
Millions
Arrow
January
Code
Offroad
Mouse trap
Base
Facts
Martian
Stamp
Waterproof
The wrong words
Bottomless pit
Safe
A word from an unknown language.
Irresistible
Anaheim
Speed
Put that thing down
Spycam
Pew
Evidence
March
Horror on the subway!
Thick
Exposed
Your honor
Diet
Point
Superhero
Host
Scroll
Style
Range
Together
Block
Cracked pavement
Shenanigans
Blinded
As far as the eye can see
Intake
Forward
Satisfied
Collection
Frozen in time
Recovery
Moisture
Stand
Canyon
Reviewal
Old Videos
Riot of color
Split
Potato eyes
Photograph
It’s a dirty job
Fine
Overhead
Why should I?
Mass
Mustard yellow
Basic
Opportunity
Afford
Blue sky
Part
Rat stew
Points
Detail
Stolen
Bread
Brand awareness
Contact lens
Trailers
Eaten by lions
The lion that ate cherries
Aurora
Hard to believe
Contribution
Crew cut
Dealers
Dirty
Lot
Random
Envision
Dozen
Secretary
Vision
Fuel
It’s a pattern
Cheers
Refreshment
ABC
Thermostat
Diddums
Sponsor
Old Master
Rhymes with…
Grasp
Heinz 57
Loop
Unleashed
Buttery
Tramlines
Vast
Unit
Trying
Painfully shy
Rats
Translation
Crack of dawn
Shine
Falling
Rotten egg
Some guy/girl I met online
Hopeless
Fog a mirror
Oblique
Exterior
Black hole
Videotape
Stakes
Double dip
Goth
Educator
Overheating
Metrics
Figure
Balance
Schism
Flower basket
Double
Heat
Carrots
Rust
Wafer-thin
Creep
Pillows
Pester
Crack
Bookcase
Verdict
Sprint
Crisp
Vulgar
Pregnant
Position
Benefits
Car crash
Free gift
Long live The King
Hit
Scribble
France
Waterfall
Across
You’ll never believe…
Register
Stations
Urge
Infinitesimal
Scratch
Signal
Broken dreams
Arcade
Values
Total security
Train
Still
Officer down
Random Action
One two three…
Pure
You never know
Outsider
Has-beens
All our tomorrows
Express
In my hand
Expected
Cut and dried
Desiccation
Blocker
Blood is thicker than water
Shark
Plain
Spread
Semantics
Cheers
Pots and pans
Landslide
Fret
Crystal
Sponsor
Screen
Red wine
Pebbles
Shiny

A billion miles away

We spend billions and billions of dollars to build the probe.
So many tests and fixes and re-tests.
Hauling it up to the rocket and fitting it.
Launching it, and slingshotting it from planet to planet.
Parking it in orbit with the gentlest and most cautious braking rocket thrusts.
Success! Success!
We all cheer!
Time to work.
It takes 90 minutes for commands to reach the probe.
And 90 minutes for confirmation to return.
A billion miles away, we wait for the images to appear.
Black. More black. Endless black.
Only then do we realize… nobody took the lenscap off.

The barbershop singers

They were a strange barbershop quartet.
All four men were bald.
And not clean-shaven bald, but patchy and scruffy bald.
With unkempt beards and mustaches, looking like savages and wildmen.
They couldn’t sing.
They screamed and hollered and shrieked.
There was no musical quality to what was coming out of their mouths.
They also varied in numbers.
Only rarely were there four of them.
Three, Five, Two, Twenty… who knew how many of these strange men would show up to yell and moan together.
The barber called the asylum to pick up their patients.
My how the butterfly nets flew!

Bad moose

My moose is a very bad moose.
I won’t just leave my moose at the pound.
So he ends up someone else’s bad moose.
A cycle of badness, not good for the moose.
Or let him loose.
A bad moose on the loose?
Very bad.
So, I took him to moose school.
To learn to be a better moose.
The best instructors teach at moose school.
Moose experts, each and every one.
They teach moose to be better moose.
They use the latest moose teaching techniques.
None of them are abusive.
Abused moose are bad moose.
And they never learn.

The mailing lists

The great thing about this lockdown is that I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
I used to get spam from Ticketmaster, promoting concerts and sports events and local art shows.
And the restaurant guides would fill my inbox with so many places to eat.
Sometimes, I’d think about one or two of them.
Maybe even look them up on a map.
No, I never went to any of these.
Never had the heart to unsubscribe from the mailers, either.
Because, what if… maybe… nah.
Who am I kidding?
Now that everything is closed down, the lists went mercifully silent.

Knock on my office door

It’s been a while since someone knocked on the door to my office and walked in anyway.
No waiting for me to say come in. Or to say I’m busy with something.
Or them asking what I’m working on.
It never ends well.
Now, I’m working from home. Everyone is working from home.
We’re connected via a Slack messaging platform.
So, they now ping me with a message of “Hi.”
Not what they need. Just a “Hi.”
It’s bait. So I wait.
Eventually, they ask for what they need.
“Thinking. I’ll get back to you on this.”
Maybe I will.

A trip to the dentist

The dentist gives out lollipops to all the kids.
Grape, cherry, strawberry, bubblegum.
It doesn’t matter what flavor, really.
They all have that little special extra ingredient.
One that rots kids teeth.
Not sugar. They’re sugar free.
But there’s an enzyme that promotes bacteria growth and inhibits calcium production.
So their teeth practically melt away.
And the only thing that can stop the rotting?
The dentist. Frequent, painful visits to the dentist.
Then, an assistant talked to the cops.
They found her in the empty office, mouth stuffed with lollipops, with a toothless grin.
Or was it a silent scream?

Weekly Challenge #811 – PICK TWO Vase, Rub, Top, Spring fresh, Chime, The End, Crop

Flippy kitty

LIZZIE

“The End”.
She put the pen down, happy.
The book was published. But she abhorred the cover. And she was very vocal about it too. No one listened because the book was a success, “a huge success” as the publisher always made a point of stressing.
OK, fine! So be it.
Her next book was called “The Fool”. And she loved the cover, a photo of a foot sticking out of the ground. She had taken it herself with her cellphone. It was much cheaper than hiring some top designer.
Buying the gun, however, did mess up her whole budget…

RICHARD

The end of the beginning

The end!

I know it’s a weird way to begin a story, but the fact is I struggle to come to a satisfactory conclusion to anything I write.

However, I’ve never had a problem with beginnings, so now I work to my strengths and end my stories in the opening paragraphs. It brings an added bonus that, after working my way through to a logical conclusion, I don’t have to come up with a great ending.

Because I’ve already done it: At the beginning!

I’ve done it with this story too…

You’ll find the end, right at the very top!

SERENDIPIDY

You really don’t want to rub me up the wrong way; I’m not one to tolerate being messed about, as many have found to their cost.

I refuse to feel any guilt about it. After all, you can’t say that I haven’t given you fair warning, and if you choose to ignore it, then you’ve only got yourself to blame.

And, I think you should know, you’re already pushing your luck by asking me to explain myself in this way.

So, either piss off, or prepare yourself for the worst.

Because I’m rapidly coming to the end of my tether!

DUANE

Pick two: Vase & Rub

The end of the aisle on the bottom shelf Dean saw the old vase.

“It could have once held a genie,” he joked to Ann.

“No, silly. Lamps hold genies, not vases.”

At home Dean noticed a smudge he hadn’t seen at the store. He added some goo remover and started rubbing. The vase shook and smoke came from the top. What appeared wasn’t a genie. It was a very angry old lady from New Jersey.
Rather than granting wishes, she just complained and criticized everything. She didn’t stop complaining until Ann sent the old lady home in an Uber.

Since Records Began

Every morning at dawn Ohg would set a stone at the front of the cave entrance to show another peaceful night had passed. He didn’t know how many stones he had gathered since numbers had yet to be invented. There was a stack of stones. That was all he understood.

One day the hill people from across the river attacked as Ohg was placing his morning stone. Picking up and throwing rock after rock he was able fight off the invaders and drive them back across the river. The next morning Ohg placed one stone in front of the cave.

TOM

What Could GO Possible Wrong 011

Ford’s first thought was Cervantes had transmogrified into the bar. He grabbed brass handle and swung the door open. He saw how wrong he could be. The place was filled with Roundheads. “1600’s” he cursed. While is traditional Oxford growns, he could easily pass as a time local, he had in the past encounter some the same men in the room. Not good. Worst Molly Fields was crossing the floor toward him, having abandoned the captain of the company. Not good thought Ford. Molly smiles and whispered in his ear,” How’s bout a top rub dearie?” Then it got worst.

NORVAL JOE

“That’s interesting,” Billbert said. “Will you share this family secret with me?”
Sabrina laughed. “Most family secrets in Humbolt county is their hidden marijuana crop. For us, it goes back even before the pot came here. But, in the end, it’s come down to me to carry on our tradition.”
“Okay,” Billbert said. “Are you like, the last witch in your family line?”
She shook her head. “We’re not just regular old witches. We’re weather witches.”
“It’s rained non-stop since we moved here,” Billbert said. “Is that because of you.”
She shrugged. “We like the spring fresh smell it brings.”

JARED

Synesthesia

She turned on the faucet and let the water run to warm up for her shower. She noticed that she could smell the temperature of the water. At first, it had a mintiness. She held her hand in the spray. It became tepid and the mint began fading and she smelled a grassiness, then fresh herbs, and then floral notes. It was nearly warm enough and she could smell soil. She closed her eyes and the Spring-fresh bouquet transported her to the fields of new crops of her past. She stepped into the shower, and began weeping, smelling her childhood.

PLANET Z

The Ghost Dance promises a blanket of fresh soil and grass over the broken, barren lands.
To bury the treacherous white man and his broken treaties, to welcome the buffalo and horses back to the plains.
We will together, all tribes, together, hunt and ride and plant and laugh in freedom.
The birds will sing, and we will sing with them.
I know the Ghost Dance is a lie. We have lost, and will keep losing.
But the Ghost Dance scares the white man, so we dance it.
The Army threatens us. The missionaries threaten us.
But we dance on.

Laundry wagon

I had my rolling laundry hamper for years.
It wore out, and I needed a new one.
So, I got another one. A round one with little wheels.
Which, after a month, broke easily.
So, I got another.
It had flimsy support rods in the sides.
So, I got another.
And another.
And another.
They all were broken easily.
Then, I got a folding beverage wagon.
The kind that you use on the beach for ice and drinks.
And I got plastic laundry baskets to stack in it.
It works great. When I can keep the cats out of it.